LINDA STEIN's personal assistant has pleaded not guilty to murdering the former Ramones manager, despite police possessing her handwritten confession of the crime. Stein, 62, was found bludgeoned to death in the kitchen of her New York apartment on 30 October (07) and her employee, Natavia Lowery, was arrested earlier this month (Nov07) on suspicion of the killing. At the time of her arrest, a police spokesman claimed Lowery had "made statements implicating herself" in the murder. She later admitted in a signed statement that she had hit her boss with a cane after Stein blew marijuana smoke in her face and made racist remarks towards her. Lowery - who is of African-American descent - wrote: "I snatched the cane and hit her repeatedly with it." But appearing at the State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Tuesday (27Nov07), Lowery initially denied any knowledge of Stein's death, before blaming a masked man for the murder. After the arraignment, Lowery's attorney, Ron Kuby, accused the New York authorities of forcing a false confession from his client after questioning her for 12 hours straight following her arrest. He said, "She had to make something up to get out of that room." He also questioned why police have yet to discover the alleged murder weapon. Lowery is next due in court on 12 December (07), when Kuby will request for her to be released on bail because she recently discovered she was pregnant.